Monday, December 06, 2010

Brad Hinds

Bradley Ray Hinds
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HINDS, BRADLEY RAY HINDS, BRADLEY RAY "BRAD," 39, of Hoover, Alabama, passed away Thursday, December 2, 2010. He was a loving husband and father, a devoted son, and a true and thoughtful friend. Brad is survived by his adoring wife, Emily Ford-Hinds; son, Bradley Walker Hinds, age 10; daughter, Lily Grace Hinds, age 4; mother, Dean Campbell; father and step-mother, Billy Ray and Heide Hinds; brother, Brent Hinds; step-sister, Traci Perry; grandmother, BB Snyder; and many beloved friends.

Brad was employed at Allcomm Wireless, his family's business, as director of sales. He was proudly serving as president of the S.E.M.S.S. Association for 2011, and was founder and president of the Stone Creek Hunting Club. Brad loved and lived life to the fullest. He was an avid outdoorsman, a committed member of the kayak community, and a lifelong hunter.

For all who loved him and were touched by his life, his broad smile and kind heart will be sorely missed and remembered forever.

Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at Ridout's Southern Heritage Funeral Home in Pelham. The funeral service will be at 1 p.m. the same day in Southern Heritage Chapel, Pelham. The graveside service is being planned at Helena City Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to ACRA (Alabama Cup Racing Association), C/O Mark Travis. Phone (205) 223-8808 or visit

Brad you will be dearly missed... from leading us down the Bear, making sure we were always paddling class V, tearing down tents, to stories of big bucks and being harassed by wild hogs, boofing "the dog", or sharing your joy of taking Walker hunting and all the ways you've touched our lives. Rest In Peace my friend

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cyclocross- GA

Going good but stymied by a mechanical.

Lifted from Drew Graham

Monday, October 04, 2010

From the Room of Doom to a Golden Shower

Team Jib recently caught up with the rescuee from the room of doom to get his take on the situation:

TJ:  DOOOOOOD,  Alright bro, tell us what happened...

Rescuee:  Well I was traveling downstream to pillow rapid, rocking my pfd with nothing underneath it... you know, nips out, Tao B. style... when I was distracted by a a dude with a blue helmet coming downstream on some sort of fishing vessel.  In awe of the awkward, yet Graceful mode of river transport, I caught the eddy in front of the pillow in order to gawk at him.

TJ:  Wow!  We've been riding our sparkly fishing lures down the Upper G for years.  Someone has actually started riding fishing boats down gorge?

Rescuee:  Oh ya, people are using these fishing platforms in all sorts of arenas these days.  I guess it helps with the hemorrhoids brought on by years of hitting too many rocks while navigating whitewater in kayaks.

TJ:  Ahhhhh.  The sport grows, the styles change, and new needs develop.  I even heard that Jacksin is offering a diaper insert for there new "crappy-ass" outfitting!  Anyhow, we digress.  What happened next?

Rescuee:  After everyone on the rock got done pouring beers on me and asking if I saw some fat chick that their friend was "camping" with the night before, they threw a rope at me.  Well, I got all tangled up and was forced to exit my boat. So I grabbed the rope and tried to pull them all into the water with me. As I was yanking on the rope, this one guy yelled "leave a man behind!", whipped "it" out and started peeing all over the place.  Everyone was like, "What the hell!?" and, "Where is that coming from!?".  It was as if Moses had struck the rock and piss was flowing from, seemingly, nothing!  I think it was a miracle of sorts.

TJ:  Well Rescuee, luckily for us, the paparazzi was there to capture all the action on film!  From what our photo analysts can tell; you're right!  The piss was emanating from nothing!  Or at least something so small, that physicists will have to lump it in that grab bag of philononscientifical goodies that includes subatomic particles, superstrings, and nanopeters.  Do I smell a nobel prize...?

Rescuee:  Actually, later that night, at the G-fest, I was jammin out to some sweet Billy Idol tunes, eyes closed, head swaying, when I overheard a conversation from the adjacent campfire.  This guy was like, "Ya, I saved that turds life!  He was stuffing himself like a fatty at the Golden Corral.  Totally sick!"  Some other douche was like "Whatever dude, I peeed all over that flounder!  He was bottom feeding with the sea-snails from the put-in.  He needed my warm salty shower to wake him up!  AhAhahahHAHAHAHhhaha!"  Just then, the lights went out and the music stopped.  I saw the pisser running from a bunch of guys standing around kicking some jackass on the ground.  I heard him as he ran, "Oh shit, Rodson did it!  He's getting pummeled, RUN!"

TJ:  Damn, what night.  So you think you could identify the mystery pisser?

Rescuee:  OH, FO SHO!  Just before I was blinded by splish-splash of pee pee in my eyes, our gazes met.  It was most certainly William Lunching.  I'd seen him before on those internet, beat-down vids those guys at Shred Really do.  You know, the Harry Potter thing.  Plus, he showed his teeny peeny to the whole festival the night before!  How could I forget?...

TJ:  Well, there you go.  You win some.  You lose some.  Drink your booty-brew, son.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

PMBAR, Cohutta and other Racing

Its been a long time since we've updated the blog. I just know our devoted readers have been sitting on the edges of their seats waiting for the next update...

The Dode has tied himself up in 8 hour exams and now that he is finished is probably poking his brain with a Q-tip. I've been focused on road bike racing. The season has gone well I'll spare you the reports on all the rides and racing that has gone on while on the pavement. The past two weekends are two of the biggest events I do each year and with the focus being on the road I did not specifically train on the mountain bike this year, but I did finally get all the mechanical problems worked out in time to put about 45 miles on it before the Cohutta 100.

We stayed up at Turner's house again this year before the race. We finally got Turner to commit to the 100 mile event as well! We woke up to a slight pre race drizzle and headed over to the start. We rolled up to the line just as the gun went off and the rain stopped. We had pretty good conditions on the trails, the rain made them tacky for the most part with the exception of a few spots of slime over clay. The bridges on Old Copper Road were another story and one was the site of my second wreak of the day. Everyone rallied out to the back of the course and at about mile 50 or so the weather moved in; rain, cold winds, and fog were the order for the day. I believe it was soon after this point Todd G's derailler hanger broke and he jumped in a car to ride around the course with some Brits and Euros. I caught back up with Bell and we descended through the ghostly fog as shapes would suddenly appear and then quickly fade out of sight as we rallied down the mountain.

By the time we got to the last section of trails they were a pig wallerin' mud hole. I went down hard on Quartz Loop landing on my rib on a log and rode the rest of the trails like a bitch, probably loosing up to 30 minutes of time as daintily descended and walked around the technical stuff. The final pavement section was made horrible by 20-30 mph gusts but it was good to be done at near my 10 hr goal: 10:00:54 I easily spent that 54 seconds laying in the mud on quartz loop. It was one of those wrecks were you get up while the adrenaline is still flowing, move your bike and carcass off the trail and then lay back down. Alex killed it with a time of 8:50:16, Nate and Blake came in a bit under an hour and twenty after me after dealing with some mechanical issues in the mud.

Once back at Blake's Alex regaled us with stories of his run in with Michigan Jack who's fuck it all attitude helped Alex along and inspired us all when Alex told of how he had dropped Jack only to have Jack ride up to him later and tell Alex of how when he fell back he had crashed and broke his collar bone (showing Alex his swollen shoulder and collar bone) but he caught back up and rode strong to the finish.

One week of easy spinning on the bike took us into PMBAR, Pisgah Mountainbike Adventure Race, this race is the reason I do Cohutta because you have to do some long easy miles on the mountain bike before tackling the hills and mountains of NC.
Pisgah is tough. This year Alex and I were determined to ride well. We were already committed to all 5 check points having done it the previous year and just barely making it in before the time cut off, Alex picked the worst route imaginable so this year I held the map.

Nate, Bell, Chris Young and Daniel W, Alex and I headed up early on Friday, set up camp and headed to Dupont for a warm up ride. We told Daniel, " This place is awesome huh?, Pisgah... nothing like it!" I got some new chainrings and some Mexican food and we headed off to camp. The next morning we woke up and got ready, going a bit slow and just making it to check in before the cut off. Checked our gear, got our map, bought some raffle tickets and then we were off up Black Mountain. Alex and I checked the map and decided to go for the westernmost check point first then traveling the route to the other 4 counter-clockwise. The other teams with us followed suite. We lost the other guys as Alex stopped to change a flat on the first descent and I took the opportunity to but in some new brake pads as my pads were metal on metal already, I was hoping to get at least one more ride out of them. Alex and I caught and passed the other guys we were with and began our quest knowing that we were riding stronger than last year by far and determined to keep up the pace. We felt great through our third check point in part fueled by our positive attitudes inspired by Michigan Jack. The climb up 5000 to our third check point flew by and we hollered and encouraged everyone on our way back down.
We caught a group we had been seeing all day on the climb up Yellow Gap and felt like we were racing again. When we got back into the trails to pick up the final two check points the pain and fatigue set in. I battled cramps and went into tunnel vision mode trying to keep the pace going that we had maintained all day. Alex channeled the Michigan Jack attitude and kept us moving along. There were some dark times once we reached Squirrel Gap and our positive banter ceased and we rode on in silence. We saw Chris and Daniel at a creek crossing and just grunted at them as we rode by.

We both dug deep knowing that we were "doing something special" ,as Alex said, and I think I pushed myself to near the brink. We knew we were on the way home but had a long way to go. The final descent of Black felt good but I focused on not crashing and making it in safely. We got back with all 5 check points putting us in 7th place. I forced down as much of the burrito as I could but really felt like puking might make me fell better. I sat there and drank a beer and watched my leg muscles squirm as I was sitting still knowing that any wrong movement would produce leg locking cramps. I won a shock rebuild which was hugely needed as I was almost forced to ride single speed due to shock issues between Cohutta and PMBAR. We headed to the Sagebrush for dinner and then I laid in my tent to tired to sleep but happy all the same.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


{despite the lack of photos this is going up to keep the news from going stale, will edit to add photos later, Taste It}

I used to think I was a grill master. I grilled all the time and could nail all types of meats prepared to various gradiations. I always cooked on charcoal only. Lately I've been cooking on gas and have had inconsistent results (although one may expect the opposite). And so it goes; sometimes you nail it, some times you come out ok, and others? well, you heal to come back and do it again another day.

Field reports have been pouring in with the rain from Raven Fork and Henderson Creek at juicy flows. When the weekend rolled around we did a road ride which was nice until Mark suggested that we climb Robert's Mill Rd., a notoriously steep section of road that climbs Walden's Ridge. After a few $1 tacos we headed over to paddle Suck Creek a couple of times and grilled up some dirty bird to perfection.

Another front rolled through early Sunday morning. We slowly rallied and met up at the takeout just downstream of the confluence.
The creek started off narrow and busy. The water level was a little high for a first decent and probably a little too high in general. Aside from portages due to wood and water levels the creek was pretty good quality and there were lines on all the rapids. I think it could become a gem; for a first decent found about 15 years after the gold rush on The Ridge it is of great character. It is most certainly class V, not the anticipated Class IV slides that it was sold as. Rock creek after the confluence had tripled in flow since we were first at the take out jumping from 1.5' early morning to 3' while setting shuttle and 6.75' at the end of the day.

JR found Middle Creek after pouring over some topos and online maps. He later went in and did some work cleaning out the creek and made a couple attempts at checking flows until the fronts aligned and provided enough water for this creek that doesn't even appear as a blue line on most maps. The small drainage and lack of blue line status is likely what led this to being overlooked in the past. The access, of course, is of tenuous nature and bit of diplomacy gleaned from the example set by our teacher Ron Stewart allowed us in that day. The likelihood of this being repeatable and consistent is slim, just as all access seems to be in this area of the ridge.
[Caveat: There have been several instances of people not in the know doing things such as riding around the top of the mountain with a bullhorn yelling out the window and telling lies to a landowner's wife with whom access had been negotiated, that shit won't be tolerated and will be met with consequences. In the instance of the lies we talked the landowner down, next time we may just point out which car is yours and look the other way.]

Turner missed the takeout and ran a huge hole that sucked him out of his boat. He Spitz'd it over to the side and grabbed a tree. Coming through a yard on the side of the river a man stepped up and handed him his paddle. After making fun of Turner for a minute he drove the group of three back upstream to the takeout they had missed where he told us all that the hole Turner swam out of wasn't that big. He suggested a couple of locations that we might spot the boat floating downstream. We arrived to the boat ramp just in time to see the boat float around the corner, just a second later it'd have been out of sight and never seen again. Turner stripped off his dry clothes jumped into my boat and took off around the corner into the fading light.

Another group of charges were a little late to the party and opted to explore a different creek for what is very likely another first decent: Clemmons Creek, They put in below the mini-gorge (which was not cleaned of wood and is reportedly nasty looking when there is no water in it) for the CO style creek- boogy, no eddys, large holes and waves and unexpected wood. They reported very high water and expect that at normal flows it would be class IV. Due to the high flows they completed the run in about 20- 30 minutes.

Today as Burrow ran the second drop of Stairway switch he crashed. He hiked out of the gorge spitting up blood. A trip to the doc revealed broken ribs and a broken clavicle. Sometimes you have to put the meat back on the grill and sometimes you have to eat it well done.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Surf and Sportaging

I knew it was going to be a good week last Monday when I opened up my bookmark for the National Weather Service infrared satellite image to see three major low pressure systems with solid cyclonic swirling lined up from the Pacific Coast to Arkansas.  As the three vortices ripped across the states they drew moisture from the Pacific Ocean, dropping the annual rainfall of many southwestern states in a matter of hours.  Tornado warnings in downtown Los Angeles reminded me of that movie "The Day After Tomorrow" and as the atmospheric eddy-line whipped its way east, the moisture from the Gulf of Mexico was pulled north in millions of acre-feet and dumped across the gradient rich drainages of The Southeast.  

Last Friday I left work a little early and headed to the Tiney Piney with my surf boat.  We arrived at the Whites Creek takeout and the gage read 3 feet.  JT, Vagina Boobs, The Red Barron, Badams, and Taylord joined me for what is without a doubt one of the best surfing runs on Walden's Ridge.  Mankind is at a loss for good descriptors of waves this good, but let me throw a few haphazardly into the cyberspace: "epic", "sick", and "huyage".

Though the surf was good, it left our vertical addictions with somewhat of an itch, and Saturday we woke early and headed to the home of the Scopes Monkey Trials for some marginar on the mighty Morgan Creek, aka "North Pole".

North Pole has some really classic portaging, and this keeps a lot of people away.  In fact, after adjusting for the Portage/Paddle ratio, it might be better described as a "sportaging" run.  Above is the first falls, or rather, the portage around it.  I think Clay gave this one, somewhat unsuccessfully, back in the day.  The maps call it "Snow Falls".

After Snow, there are a few booby rapids that terminate into a sieved out log jam.  A quick jump around these to the left brings you to this little cave slide shown below.

Immediately following the slide above is a small slot into this slide:

Bankfull. The human, not the run.

Then it gets good...  the portaging, I mean.  Here is Taft "Vagina Boobs" Sibley having fun on the lesser walked side of this portage, just above a little clapper drop that goes, sans the current wood situation.

This portage was awesome!  All the technical aspects of a classic:  ankle breaker boulders, sketchy down climbs, and slippery slopes.

The hard work doesn't go completely unrewarded.  With boats and shoes full of detritus, Vagina Boobs lines it up on this little spout:

No portaging required between the drop shown above and the slide shown below!  Don't get too excited.  The days is only half way over...

Nice form Caleb, I can really read those sponsor logos perfect, but next time let me see a little more "claw".

Then comes the innocuous looking drop (emphasis on "looking") that almost snuffed Crazy Hayes.  Merlin of the lowlands made it look quite runnable.  Most portaged.  Below is the next rapid in the gorge; a sweet and sour little boof to boof.  I guess we were really fiending for the portage, because most of the group portaged back up this one to give it a second go 'round.  Double, double boof.

Time for a hike with your chosen craft?  The hemlocks on the next spectacular portage are quite lovely.  This is followed by a couple of photogenic low angle slides.  These will make you wonder why we don't come in here with at least twice the flow. 

A few booby rapids mixed with a little portaging lead to another big ass portage.  You can run a little sneak slide right up to the lip of a mammoth horizon line.  Walking on the right will lead you to the lip of Decapitation.  The scene of Tim Williams running this one in Vertical Addiction always stuck in my mind.  I think it flipped his brim up for him.  Below, Merlin considers testing out his full face:

 and JT approaches the guillotine:

Decap is followed by this.  Its got a kick for sure.  You might remember the scene in "Local Hero"  where Bryan Prince gets knocked out.  It happened here, at "Chili Pepper".  It goes better than it looks, just don't try to run it on the right.

A low angle slide flows into one of the highlights of the run:  a thirteen footer that doesn't land on rock.  Vagina Boobs hates his back, and drops that land in deep pools.  He decided to take the ultra-sib rope swing line:

JT raced him to the bottom:

Sib's Splash can be seen in the lower right quadrant.  Winner: Team Vagina Boobs!

There is one more big portage after this.  The runnout of aforementioned portage can usually be run.  Tree branches in the landing prevented us from having this much fun.  The are some more low angle slides, a couple booby flops, and an eight footer on to terra firma in the runnout.  Richland Creek feels like a back massage when you get there.  Hike up and paddle down for a happy ending.  The next morning I awoke to the sound of a small stream in my basement.  The Captain should be reporting soon with tales of high water first deez, and stairway carnage. 

Monday, January 18, 2010

Unicoi Ride

Tellico- Bald River- North River January 2010:

Alex and I met up Saturday morning for a 5 hour ride around the Tellico River. Alex assured me that this would not be as difficult as our previous ride which kept dropping us into hanging valleys only to have us climb 20 % grades to get back out only to do it all over again.

Our previous ride in late '09 gave us a pretty good tour of the hollows (pronounced "hallers") and the culture that resides within.

This ride through the Unicoi Mountains encountered less development, more consistent and longer climbs and with the closing of the Tellico River OHV area little to no traffic other than the usual bear hunters.
We climbed for the majority of the ride time through sticky mud and then had one long descent from near Stratton Bald back down to the car at the lower Tellico.
53.5 Miles, 6,105 feet of climbing, 5.5 hrs total time.